Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer


Could the Lions finally have another Springbok?

The Lions' promising recent form in the URC has sparked hope that some players from the union would be considered for Bok selection.


Could the Lions finally see one of their players in the green and gold again when the Springboks kick off their season in June and July, with a one-off game against Wales at Twickenham and their incoming series against Ireland and Portugal? It has been a long time since a Lions player featured in a Bok team, with not a single player representing the national side during the previous World Cup cycle. ALSO READ: Unlucky six - These players failed to crack nod for Springbok camp That cycle kicked-off in 2021 with the British and Irish Lions series after the…

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Could the Lions finally see one of their players in the green and gold again when the Springboks kick off their season in June and July, with a one-off game against Wales at Twickenham and their incoming series against Ireland and Portugal?

It has been a long time since a Lions player featured in a Bok team, with not a single player representing the national side during the previous World Cup cycle.

ALSO READ: Unlucky six – These players failed to crack nod for Springbok camp

That cycle kicked-off in 2021 with the British and Irish Lions series after the entire 2020 Bok season was lost due to the Covid pandemic.

The last few Lions players to represent the Boks were Elton Jantjies, Malcolm Marx, Marvin Orie and Kwagga Smith, who all played for both teams during the 2019 season, with Marx the last to play as a Lions player in the green and gold during the 2019 World Cup final.

By the time the Boks got their most recent cycle under way, with the B&I Lions series in July 2021, all four of those players had left the union.

Wandisile Simelane was the sole Lions player included in an extended Bok squad for the B&I Lions series, but dropped out when the main squad was selected, and over the next three years no Lions players played any Bok rugby.

Promising form

However, their promising form over the past season and a half in the URC has sparked hope that some players from the union would be considered for Bok selection.

With the naming of a 43-player squad for the first of three Bok alignment camps in early March, ahead of the coming season which gets under way in late June with a Test against Wales at Twickenham, the Lions were rewarded with six players being picked.

This puts them firmly on Bok coach Rassie Erasmus’ radar, and a few could well make their debut for the Boks, most likely against Wales or Portugal in July.

In-form Lions scrumhalf turned flyhalf Sanele Nohamba is the most likely of the six to get a nod, with his versatility a big plus, while centre Henco van Wyk and fullback Quan Horn could be outside picks for the Portugal match.

With the massive competition at flank and scrumhalf it is unlikely that Ruan Venter and Morne van den Berg will get a look in this early stage in their budding careers, while Jordan Hendrikse has played second fiddle to Nohamba this season at the Lions so might also be limited at the Boks.

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